As part of the year-long celebration of Fredericksburg's 175th Anniversary, two special art exhibits will be on display.

"The Art of Fredericksburg: 175 Years," will be on display from May 8 through September 19, 2021 and "Lee Ethel's Fredericksburg: The Artist's Paintings and Archival Sources" will be on display from May 7 through September 15, 2021.

Fredericksburg's deep German heritage continues to shape the town's story today. See all of the ways you can spot Fredericksburg's history when visiting. 


The Art of Fredericksburg: 175 Years

Print by Charles Beckendorf of a Hill Country homestead with bluebonnets

On display from May 8 through September 19, 2021, this free and open to the public exhibit, will hang in the temporary exhibit hall at the George H.W. Bush Gallery at the National Museum of the Pacific War

Featuring more than 60 pieces of original art from nearly 30 artists throughout Fredericksburg's history, the exhibit will include original sketches, oil paintings and watercolors. These works of art will be on loan from major institutions and museums across Texas as well as from private collections. 

Works include mid-1800 pieces from Richard Petri and Hermann Lungkwitz, German-born early Fredericksburg settlers, and Seth Eastman, an U.S. Army officer and illustrator, stationed at Fort Martin Scott and commissioned by the U.S. Congress to record Native American life. Organizers expect at least three original pieces by these artists to be on display. 

Other artists slated to be featured include Buck Schiwetz, Lee Ethel, John McClusky and Charles Beckendorf. Current active artists include John Hanna, Nancy Bush, Phil Bob Borman and others. 

The exhibit will also include sculptures from John Bennett and Jonas Perkins. Bennett was a designated Texas State Artists by the Texas Legislature in 2010 and will present a full-clay of Lady Bird Johnson, while Perkins will show a clay bust of "Schatzie" Crouch. 

Father Peter Tarillion, a former priest from St. Mary's Catholic Church, is another artist being featured. While at the parish, he painted three large paintings which originally hung in the Marionkirche. Only two of his works remain today- one of the Crucifixion and one of St. Joseph. Part of this project will include professional restoration work on these early paintings


Lee Ethel's Fredericksburg

Lee Ethel print

Pioneer Museum and the Gillespie County Historical Society will be sponsoring a special art exhibition featuring painting and archival sources from Fredericksburg artist Lee Ethel. The exhibit, "Lee Ethel's Fredericksburg: The Artist's Paintings and Archival Sources" will be on display at Appretiare Art Studio, 237 W. Main St., from May 7 through September 15, 2021. 

More than 40 paintings on loan from private collectors and corresponding archival photographs from the Gillespie County Historical Society's permanent collection are included. 

Sponsored events include a presentation of Lee Ethel's art, life and legacy will be given by Lee Ann Whatley, curator of the exhibition and granddaughter of the artist. A panel discussion on the historical and community impact of Ethel's artwork will be presented by historians, including Dr. Donald Frazier, director of the Texas Center at Schreiner University in Kerrville. 

A special children's educational activity will also be offered throughout the duration of the exhibition. 

Events include: 

  • Friday, May 7: Opening Presentation, 5-7 p.m. at the gallery
  • Friday, July 2: Lee Ethel's Life and Legacy Presentation by Lee Ann Whatley, 5-7 p.m. at the gallery
  • Friday, August 6: Panel discussion on Lee Ethel's contribution to the history of Fredericksburg, 5-7 p.m. at the gallery. 

Ethel was a professional graphic designer in Dallas before retiring to Fredericksburg with his wife Betty in 1973. He focused on developing his story of painting and documenting the historic and iconic architecture of Fredericksburg. Ethel researched and accurately portrayed houses, public buildings, street scenes and festivals of Fredericksburg, capturing the spirit and history. Ethel's wife, Betty, donated the artist's working materials to the Gillespie County Historical Society's permanent collection in 1998. 

All exhibits will follow COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Historic Building at Marktplatz in Fredericksburg, TX

The history of Fredericksburg stretches back over 175 years as German immigrants made the decision to settle in Texas...

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The history of Fredericksburg stretches back over 175 years as German immigrants made the decision to settle in Texas...

Learn More